Reflecting Our Values

Distinguished-AlumniThe wild weather this week has me thinking spring. One of my favorite days of every school year is our Distinguished Alumni induction program, scheduled this year for May 6. We are preparing to honor four CVHS graduates who have achieved success and distinction in their careers and communities, and I hope you will help us continue this program by nominating others!

Testing Topics

TestingThanks to parents and students for weighing in on our proposed calendar. We are always at our best when all stakeholders join the conversation on important topics! Our school board had a productive conversation on this issue Monday evening, and will consider it again on Feb. 16. I invited Dr. Mann to follow up on last week’s post to clarify two issues regarding testing, one as it relates to the proposed schedule and another regarding Keystone Exams at the high school.

May Day: Our 2016-2017 Academic Calendar

Mann-(2)My guest today is Dr. Donovan Mann, our director of secondary education. Dr. Mann is working with our staff team to develop the academic calendar for our 2016-2017 school year, which the board will approve at its second meeting in February. What they have in draft form may be surprising!

Building an academic calendar is a collaborative process, and we are guided by several principles. Obviously, we want to ensure our students attend school for the requisite number of days, scheduled around appropriate breaks and holidays. We also want to build in snow make-up days during the year, so a snowy winter does not push the end of school too far into June.

I Only Decide to Open School

Conestoga Valley School District was one of three school districts in Lancaster County to remain on a two-hour delay on Tuesday. I acknowledge that the weekend blizzard was historic, but at some point we need to return to school and work together to ensure the safety of our students and staff.

The Need for Growth

Assessmnt-ValuesOur school board’s first community forum looked at Conestoga Valley’s moderate enrollment growth and what those projections mean for our facilities as we look five to 10 years into the future. At our next forum, you will see why, far from being a “challenge” to “deal with” as I have heard some say, growth is essential to keeping our school district strong.

Looking Back … And Forward

As I wrote before our holiday break, 2015 was an incredibly challenging year for our school community. The year started with a memorial celebration of the life of our colleague Nicole Mathewson and later included the loss of another colleague, Perry Pritchard.

However, the year was proof that we make it through these challenges in our lives by supporting each other and by keeping the memory of those lost alive in our minds and hearts.

More Holiday Gift Ideas

TrasborgTwo years ago, I shared this space with Mrs. Michelle Trasborg, our supervisor of Communications and ESL, to make some suggestions for gifts that encourage in students a love of literacy that will help them in school and beyond. I welcome her back today with some more ideas!

Gift ideas that help build literacy skills in children are often, like literacy itself, timeless. So I think the five gift ideas I shared two years ago are still good. But here are some ideas that expand on the same theme.

A Bad Example

The front-page news is shocking and routine at the same time: The state House has again passed a budget at odds with the Governor, this time breaking from a bi-partisan budget passed by the Republican-controlled Senate and supported by Gov. Wolf. When will it end?